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3 Ways to Beat the Summer Hiring Slump
Friday, Jun 17, 2016

The summer season has a funny way of making time stop. Everything seems to slow down, and often that includes business processes, too. It’s surely nice to have some extra time on your hands, especially when the warm weather is drawing you out of the office. It can’t be forgotten however that the summer months also offer a rare but important opportunity to reflect and refine.  

Now that we’re about half way through the year, this is the perfect chance to analyze and evaluate the progress you’ve made toward annual business goals so far. Whether you’ve made leeway on aggressive hiring goals, or still have a steep hill to climb, there a few things you can do now to help finish the year successfully.

1. Get organized. 

If you want a pipeline of talent ready to go when the time is right, you have to diligently fill the funnel. But where does the funnel lead? Whether they’re passive candidates who have opted into recruitment communications, or former job candidates who have potential to fit into the organization with the right role, each and every job seeker contact needs a path.

Fortunately, a strong applicant tracking system should make searching and screening previous candidates an easy process. Once someone has entered a formal application for a specific role and has taken further steps along the interview process, there is a trail left behind including who they’ve spoken to or met with, which jobs they believed were good fits, and perhaps even some completed questionnaires or tests. All of this information is valuable, and should be stored and analyzed to determine the quality of the people you’re attracting.

This process can be a little more intensive when using a candidate relationship management (CRM) tool, but it also offers more options in terms of categorizing and nurturing potential hires. CRM tools also referred to as recruitment marketing automation, allow recruiters to collect basic information from passive job seekers (those who would be open to a new role, but may not be actively looking quite yet) and use that data to tailor specific messages to help guide the candidate toward a formal application. However, since the information requested to opt into a recruitment marketing program is kept to a minimum in order to detour drop-off rates, it also requires some extra consideration on the side of HR. If recruiters take care to ask the right questions to gauge the candidate’s interests and experience, and then follow that up with designating them into appropriate talent pools, their potential for making meaningful matches is much better. So take the time this summer to sort through the candidates you have before you spend more time and money attracting others.

2. Test the waters.

Once you’ve gotten your candidate data in order, you’re ready to try out new programs accordingly. When was the last time you viewed your career site from the eyes of a job seeker? Have you tried to apply via a mobile device or a social profile? How long did it take? These are just a few of the things you should be doing on a regular basis to ensure that your candidate experience is easy and productive for both parties.

For a more pointed approach, try A/B testing different recruitment marketing assets and even application processes. Use different visuals, send email distributions at varying times, try highlighting certain roles or current employees in your content. Most importantly, compare, compare, compare. A lot of the time when you’re jumping from position to position in an attempt to quickly fill seats, you’re not taking the time to look around and analyze your strategy. So when you do get a little down time, why not try something new and see how it goes?

3. Get back to the simple things.

With kids out of school, vacations booked, and summer fun calling your name it can feel like you’re running a mile a minute. Most of us will use vacation time in the summer, or will generally be out of the office more and on the go, and that includes job seekers. As such, the last thing anyone wants to be doing is filling out page after page of forms or pinching and pulling on a small screen trying to view career site content. Consider your mobile application process and see if you can cut out any steps to shorten it. Or at the very least, make sure that your career site is mobile-optimized and contains pared down content that is easy to navigate with as few swipes and clicks as possible.

The summer is also a particularly good time to consider the job seeking behaviors of entry-level workers who have just graduated. For example, 84 percent of college seniors believe an active social media presence helps a company to recruit the best talent, particularly if it demonstrates company culture. So when you have your company picnic this summer don’t forget to take and share photos! Just a simple post can give candidates a real, meaningful glimpse into “a day in the life” of one of your employees.